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Carter v. Commissioner of Social Security Administration

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

July 25, 2019

LAKKISHA MARIE CARTER, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.

          Matthew F. Leitman Judge.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DE 18), GRANT DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DE 19) AND AFFIRM THE COMMISSIONER'S DECISION

          ANTHONY P. PATTI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         I. RECOMMENDATION

         For the reasons that follow, it is RECOMMENDED that the Court DENY Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (DE 18), GRANT Defendant's motion for summary judgment (DE 19), and AFFIRM the Commissioner's decision.

         II. REPORT

         Plaintiff, Lakkisha Marie Carter, proceeding pro se, brings this action under 42 U.S.C § 405(g) and 42 U.S.C. § 1383(c)(3) for review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) denying her applications for disability insurance (DI) and supplemental security income (SSI) benefits. This matter is before the United States Magistrate Judge for a Report and Recommendation on Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (DE 18), the Commissioner's cross-motion for summary judgment (DE 19), Plaintiff's reply (DE 21) and the administrative record (DE 15).

         A. Background and Administrative History

         Plaintiff alleges her disability began on January 20, 2015, at the age of 42. (R. at 233.) In her disability report, she lists arthritis, depression, and anxiety as limiting her ability to work. (R. at 237.) Her applications were denied on July 24, 2015. (R. at 129-130, 137-38.)

         Plaintiff requested a hearing by an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). (R. at 145.) On May 18, 2017, ALJ Robert G. O'Blennis held a hearing, at which Plaintiff and a vocational expert (VE), Deborah A. Determan, testified. (R. at 45-84.) On November 20, 2017, ALJ O'Blennis issued an opinion, which determined that Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act. (R. at 26-44.)

         Plaintiff submitted a request for review of the hearing decision/order. (R. at 189-192.) However, on March 23, 2018, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. (R. at 1-5.) Thus, ALJ O'Blennis' decision became the Commissioner's final decision.

         Plaintiff timely commenced the instant action on June 1, 2018.

         B. Plaintiff's Medical History

         The administrative record contains approximately 159 pages of medical records, which were available to the ALJ at the time of his November 20, 2017 decision. (R. at 43-44, 313-472 [Exhibits 1F-13F].) These materials will be discussed in detail, as necessary, below.

         C. The ...


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